This is a topic I've wanted to talk about for a while but just haven't had time...or a way to put all my thoughts into a post. Thanks to Matt Chandler at The Village Church (where I now remotely attend, it is in Dallas), I got the final push I needed.
It was 3 weeks ago, the week before our trip to Utah. Jon had to travel for work most of the week and normally I am fine with it but for some reason I was just annoyed. He is in sales so the more he travels, the better for us financially, I just hate when it is more than 3 days. The night before he left, his laptop caught a virus and it was unusable. Okay that sucks but we can get over it. He overnighted it to his company HQ (Alpharetta, GA) and they sent him a loaner to his hotel in Dallas. He leaves for Dallas the next day but doesn't quite make it. His car died and of all places, Waxahachie, TX which is a tiny dot in this big state. And when Jon travels, it is for customer facing meetings aka time sensitive. That sucked. He also got a call that there was fraudulent charges on his brand new SW Airlines card. Wow...
Being stranded back in Austin at work, I felt helpless. Jon was frustrated, I was worried and sad that he had to deal with all of this. And then things just got crappy.
Okay maybe to you, these things aren't that bad. But to us, when it rains, it pours. I wanted to surprise Jon by mowing the lawn. I was careless and ran over a gutter piece and then split our only extension cord in half. I think I even tweeted about catching a break. Our fence also needed to be replaced (insert faint when hearing the prices) and I need new tires on my car. Later that evening I went back outside to do some yardwork and brought Ernie with me. He was in front of me running to the fence and almost did a flip, yelped and limped away. Then the waterworks started...
I carried him inside, fell to my knees and just started balling. Straight up ugly crying, chest heaving. I asked God "why?!". Why did it all have to happen today?! I can deal with one car issue or breaking something around the house. But I was just overwhelmed from the days activities and needed to let it out. I held Ernie, telling him how much I loved him and begging God to heal him (I never did find out what it was but he is okay, I iced his leg and think it got bitten or stung really quickly?). I had a much needed breakdown.
And then all of the sudden, a calmness was brought over me. Earlier that week I had listened to a sermon from MC where he talked about bearing pain. Jesus died on the cross so that in times like this, times of pain, He can say to you, "Yes I know, I have been there". I found peace and breath in that. I remembered that Jesus is the son of our most powerful God. The God that created the world in 7 days and can destroy it even quicker. The God who could have easily saved His Son from crucifixion but no...God uses suffering to reveal His glory. It is so humbling when I think of the cross. Yes it is sad and devastating but it brings me back to reality. The reality and a human being's blood was poured out for me...FOR ME...so that I can be forgiven and experience eternal life.
Pain gives God access to the deepest, most precious parts of our hearts. Suffering is meant to bring us back to Him. He is knocking at the doors of our hearts and wants us to open to His love and grace.
"Open for me" Song of Solomon 5:2
I remember Job who was stripped of everything in his possession. God allowed Satan access to Job, revealing his glory. And all the while, here I am complaining about money, cars and miniscule things. God never said He'd protect us from the storm, He promises to lead us through it. He shelters us and helps get our feet on the ground, but that doesn't mean the pain will go away. It means HE IS ENOUGH!
"And now my head will be lifted up above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord." Psalm 27:6
So whether your enemy is cars, finances, dating, cancer, work, children....I hope you can turn to the Lord to lift you out. I have people in my life who are losing parents, in rocky marriages, experiencing infertility, getting laid off, fighting cancer...and I find solace in knowing my God has a plan. He knows. He has been there. He is good. He is mighty to save.